From Iconoculture

WHAT’S HAPPENING

  • Beyond Meat’s Veggie Chicken Strips are giving meatless eaters something to crow about.
  • The soy-based stand-in looks and cooks like chicken breast meat. How convincing is it? In a blind taste test, professional eater and New York Timescolumnist Mark Bittman thought a Beyond Meat “chicken” wrap was the real deal. Twice.
  • The all-natural soy mixture is extruded through a machine designed by researchers at the University of Missouri. The scientists teamed up with vegan businessman and former farm kid Ethan Brown to brand, market and package the product.
  • From powder to product, the process takes about 45 seconds. Raising a chicken takes about six weeks.
  • Beyond Meat will debut in June 2012 in the prepared foods section of San Francisco-area Whole Foods stores. Brown expects Beyond Meat to cost significantly less than real chicken.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
  • Vegetarians and vegans aren’t the only consumers interested in better-tasting fake meat. If these protein stand-ins were more delicious (and convincing), meat-eating consumers may feel compelled to go meatless more often.
  • Factory-farmed chicken gobbles up resources (feed, water, antibiotics, land) and concerns about the lives of these creatures is serious stuff. Choosing a meatless protein source over chicken even every once in a while would help the planet, boost overall consumer health and maybe send a message to big-business chicken companies.